National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) Sue Robinson has urged against "tokenism" after joining the Automotive 30% Club in a bid to promote a better gender balance in car retail.
The purpose of the Automotive 30% Club is to achieve a better gender balance within the automotive industry, with the aim of filling at least 30% of key leadership positions in member organisations with diverse women by 2030.
Upon joining the group, which counts AM100 car retail group leaders and OEM bosses among its membership, Robinson said she was proud to be in a position to help drive this change and promote gender balance for the wider sector.
But she added: "I am also a key advocate in working hard for your success, that key leadership positions will then follow accordingly and that tokenism is not always beneficial for the long-term prospects of a business.
“NFDA has been directly supporting diversity in the Automotive industry since 2018, with the launch of our employment initiative Drive My Career. Drive My Career helps to promote its member's entry level and apprenticeship opportunities to its target audience of 16 to 24-year-olds and works hard to shift the narrative and perceptions young people may have of the automotive industry which promotes inclusivity, particularly for women.”
Automotive 30% Club founder and Gaia Innovation executive Julia Muir said: "I'm very pleased to welcome Sue Robinson, chief executive of the NFDA, to the Automotive 30% Club. Sue is an influential woman who has operated successfully for many years at the very top of automotive retail, and she is an inspiration to me and many others.
"It is great that she will join our campaign to make the automotive sector one in which women will be able to thrive as much as men so that we can access diverse talent pools to attract the skilled people we need in today's highly competitive recruitment markets.
“Sue will also help to reinforce our message that we help our members create long term plans to build inclusive high performing teams at all levels of the business, and we don't support enforced quotas or token appointments.
"I shall look forward to working closely with Sue and the NFDA members to do this and combine forces to raise awareness of automotive retailing career opportunities with school students.”